While a majority of expungement and record sealing motions will simply be a matter of conducting the filing correctly, in rare cases, a person may encounter more difficulty than initially expected. Sometimes the District Attorney at the local Court of Common Pleas may argue against a person's expungement motion. This can sometimes be opposed through a counter motion, or in extreme cases, the expungement motion must be argued in court.
Arguments That Can Be Used Against Your Expungement Motion
When considering whether or not an expungement will be granted, the court will consider the following factors in a person's case:
- The offense: One of the largest factors in determining whether or not an expungement will be granted is the initial offense. The District Attorney may weigh records crimes of violence more heavily than other criminal acts.
- A person's age: A person's age will often come into play when a record is of an older nature, and especially if the record is for a juvenile offense. If a great deal of time has passed since the offense took place, the court may be more willing to grant the expungement. This is a double-edged sword, however, because if an offense occurs later on in a person's life, the court may scrutinize their motion more carefully.
- A person's employment: If a person is currently employed, the court may be more willing to grant the expungement to open up more possibilities for them. In addition, if a person cannot find employment because of their records, this may be used as an argument in favor of granting an expungement as well.
- Any criminal history: The court will review a defendant's full criminal history when they petition for an expungement. Any additional criminal offenses beyond the one an individual seeks to expunge may be weighed against them, especially if they have faced criminal charges since the charge they seek to expunge.
- Adverse consequences of granting an expungement: If it is believed that adverse consequences will befall the public or court if the expungement is granted, the court may be unwilling to grant the expungement.
- Public safety: The District Attorney will weigh out any factors that may lead to harm coming to the public if an expungement is granted.
Pennsylvania Expungement Attorney
Expungements and record sealing motions are difficult for the average person to file on their own. Court employees seldom have the time and resources to spare to properly direct the average individual through this process. Filing errors can lead to frustrating delays. On top of this, if a District Attorney decides to contest the motion, a person may be in over their head arguing in a courtroom. For this reason, it may be best to have these motions handled by an attorney.